Blog Insight

Celebrating Craftsmanship

This past spring, when I was lucky enough to be on a food tour around St. Germain in Paris, I was struck by the designation MOF. It stands for Meilleur Ouvrier de France, an award bestowed on the finest of French craftsmen. Several purveyors along the tour had the designation of Un Des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France: One of the Best Craftsmen of France. And the MOF designation doesn’t stop at butchers and pastry chefs: hairdressers, jewelers, textile artisans, ceramics creators, builders, and yes, even advertising agencies have been honored. What matters is craft.

It is difficult to get this MOF award—just as it is difficult to strive for (or reach) perfection in craft. In our throwaway, instant-gratification society, my big fear is that the value of craftsmanship is not appreciated. We must celebrate talent and understand the expertise and years of work it has taken for artists of all kinds to be able to create engaging moments.

This perfection of craft was so purely demonstrated by the chocolatier on the tour: Patrick Roger (www.patrickroger.com). Every sense is awakened as you enter his store, which is aesthetically beautiful from the retail design and breathtaking packaging to the incredible smell and taste of the chocolates themselves. Patrick Roger grows many of the ingredients in his chocolates himself, he sculpts displays in chocolate, he sources different flavors from around the world, and some of his chocolates take 26 layers of magic to create. Are they expensive? Oh yes, for sure—but you are celebrating and paying for an artist at the height of his craft. The appreciation was boundless for the box of chocolates I brought back for the team at GLG. The entire experience of opening the package to the display inside to the taste—all of it was documented by the GLG resident artists and craftsmen.

I am proud to be on the board of the Bellevue Arts Museum, a museum of art, craft, and design. I am proud of the men and women of GLG who practice their craft every day. I am proud of our clients who are creating products, services, experiences, and cultures that deliver value for their customers, for their employees, and for the world. Thank you for thinking about the craft in your daily life and celebrating with us the true value of craftsmanship.